Happy Friday! As we head into another summer weekend, why not kick things off by perusing an assortment of need-to-know news items compiled by the AN edit team? As always, it’s a diverse bunch covering architecture, design, development, urbanism, and on:
Powerhouse team assembled for documentary on the Surfside condo collapse
The Miami Herald is partnering with Grain Media and 101 Studios for a new documentary investigating the June 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo complex north of Miami Beach in Surfside, Florida. Ninety-eight people perished in the tragic building collapse, which is now undergoing a multi-year investigation.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the documentary, titled Surviving Surfside, will build on the Herald’s Pulitzer Prize–winning reporting and feature interviews with survivors, first responders, Herald journalists, and others. The documentary is being teased as a sweeping one that will delve into the “the turbulent history of Miami — the riots, the drugs, the bribes, and the condo boom” while examining “all the prime suspects that may have contributed to the condo collapse.”
“As a newsroom, we poured our hearts into the breaking news and the ongoing daily coverage, and subsequent investigative coverage, of the Champlain Towers South condominium collapse story,” the Herald’s executive editor Monica Richardson said in a statement shared by The Hollywood Reporter. “It was our story to tell because the people and the families in Surfside who were impacted by this unthinkable tragedy are a part of our community.”
H/t to The Hollywood Reporter
Flagship Papaya King on Manhattan’s Upper East Side faces demolition
In what’s turned out to be a busy week in hot dog-related real estate comes news that the original Papaya King, an oft-intimidated Upper East Side institution known for its tropical fruit drinks and exquisitely snappy frankfurters since the late 1940s, could be razed to make way for what will likely be a luxury condo tower helmed by Extell Development. As reported by the New York Times, on June 28 Extell filed demolition plans with the city for the one-story building on the corner of Third Avenue and 86th Street that has housed the hot dog–slinging neighborhood mainstay for decades. The developer purchased the lot last year for $21 million and, as of this writing, the timing of the proposed demolition and the future closure of Papaya King flagship is unknown.
“It’s too valuable of a corner to make it a one-story building,” 83-year-old owner Peter Poulos, whose Greek immigrant father Gus Poulos opened the juice bar-slash-hot dog stand in the late 1940s, explained to the Times. “It’s like everything else. Everything has to come to an end eventually.”
H/t to New York Times
Moody Nolan selected to design new science complex at Morgan State University
Moody Nolan, the largest African American–owned design firm in the United States, has been selected by Morgan State University to lead the design of a state-of-the-art science complex at the National Treasure-designated Baltimore campus of the historically Black (HBCU) public research university. Moody Nolan has worked on projects at numerous HBCUs across the country including previous engagements at Morgan State, where the firm served as interior architect of the overhauled and soon-to-open Thurgood Marshall Hall. As for the new science complex, the proposed $150 million facility will span more than 246,000 gross square feet and replace the existing Washington Service Center, which will be demolished. Design work is anticipated to wrap in spring 2024 with construction working kicking off later that summer. Completion is slated for summer 2027.
“For our firm, this represents a unique design opportunity. The designated location of the new science complex will serve as a gateway to the campus and a beacon to the surrounding Baltimore community,” said Curt Moody, chairman of the board and design partner for Moody Nolan, in a press statement. “We will make the new science complex a place that will endure as a threshold and a catalyst for ushering in a new era of research and innovation for Morgan State students and faculty.”
Ahead of hurricane season, New York City gets an action plan for heavy deluges
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has revealed his administration’s Rainfall Ready NYC action plan, a multi-faceted blueprint of sorts detailing “steps New Yorkers and city government can take to combat extreme weather together.”
“As climate change brings more extreme weather to the five boroughs, the city is making significant investments in infrastructure to keep New Yorkers safe, and today’s action plan outlines the additional steps New Yorkers can take to protect themselves and their property,” the Mayor’s Office explained in a press announcement.
A key component of the plan engages various delivery services—Los Deliveristas, Uber Eats, GrubHub, and DoorDash—to create a working group that will generate “new strategies for ensuring extreme weather messaging reaches delivery workers. The group will also work to develop protocols to ensure that delivery workers are kept safe during extreme weather, such as restricting deliveries during dangerous weather conditions.”
“The Rainfall Ready NYC action plan will be shared widely in the weeks and months to come as all New Yorkers must take steps to prepare for more extreme weather,” the Mayor’s Office said.
RIBA reacts to the resignation of Boris Johnson
Americans, weary and drained as the U.S. rapidly tilts toward theocracy, have watched with bemusement (with a key assist from Hugh Grant) as the governing party of the United Kingdom essentially imploded via mutiny this week, culminating in the July 7 resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Naturally, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) had something to say about Johnson’s less-than-graceful exit from 10 Downing Street.
Said RIBA President Simon Allford in a July 7 statement:
“The news that Boris Johnson will step down as Prime Minister is an opportunity for the Conservative Party to take stock and refocus its priorities.
Amidst all the uncertainty, the climate crisis and its implications on the built environment — urgent action is required. This is an opportunity for a new leader to step up and take that action.
From improving the sustainability, safety and quality of our buildings to addressing the housing crisis, architects have a key role to play.
We will be reaching out to the new leader and their ministers as soon as they are in post — encouraging them to draw on the expertise in our industry, to help make our buildings and communities fit for the future.”
Bird collisions a concern at MAD Architects’ shimmering, egg-shaped Star
With the environmental review process currently underway for The Star, a glass-skinned office tower that will rise 22 stories over Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, activists have sounded the alarm about the potential for bird strikes at the audacious, MAD Architects-designed structure. Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Audubon Society joined PETA to submit a joint public comment to Courtney Shum with the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, voicing concern and recommending that the project’s Environmental Impact Report also include an assessment of potential bird collisions with the (kind of) tubular building’s windows, an element left out of the initial study.
“The city of Los Angeles is currently proposing a bird-friendly glass requirement for new residential construction in nearby hillside and canyon areas, which we support,” said Los Angeles Audubon Society President Travis Longcore in a press statement. “Tall buildings such as The Star should be held to a similar standard and incorporate bird-friendly designs to protect birds who migrate to and through Los Angeles each year.”
The groups’ public comment submitted to the city can be read in full here.